In a city that's struggled for peace and solid infrastructure, its 1.5 million residents can finally draw cash.

(Twitter/@hajjirgedi)

Nearly two and a half decades since Somalia descended into a protracted civil war, the first ATM opened in the country's capital of Mogadishu this morning. Previously, travelers to Mogadishu were forced to bring large sums of cash with them. Visitors could also go through informal remittance brokers to tap into the Hawala system popular in Muslim countries. Now things might get a little easier for everyone.

Salaam Somali Bank opened the cash machine in one of Mogadishu's upscale (and heavily secured) hotels. The BBC reports that one U.K. visitor called the ATM "a big step forward" for a country that was without a functioning government from 1991 until 2012. The Somali shilling, however, is worthless in Mogadishu's markets, which operate almost exclusively on U.S. dollars. The ATM will therefore only distribute American currency, possibly offering other international currencies in the future.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Perspective

    Why Car-Free Streets Will Soon Be the Norm

    In cities like New York, Paris, Rotterdam, and soon San Francisco, car-free streets are emerging amid a growing movement.

  2. photo: a commuter looks at a small map of the London Tube in 2009
    Maps

    Help! The London Tube Map Is Out of Control.

    It’s never been easy to design a map of the city’s underground transit network. But soon, critics say, legibility concerns will demand a new look.

  3. A photo of a police officer in El Paso, Texas.
    Equity

    What New Research Says About Race and Police Shootings

    Two new studies have revived the long-running debate over how police respond to white criminal suspects versus African Americans.

  4. a map of future climate risks in the U.S.
    Maps

    America After Climate Change, Mapped

    With “The 2100 Project: An Atlas for A Green New Deal,” the McHarg Center tries to visualize how the warming world will reshape the United States.

  5. Design

    New York City Will Require Bird-Friendly Glass on Buildings

    Hundreds of thousands of migratory birds smash into the city’s buildings every year. The city council just passed a bill to cut back on the carnage.

×